Married with Special Needs Children

Francie Khalaf by Francie Khalaf Additional Needs

Francie Khalaf

Francie Khalaf

I am a wife and mother of two children with cerebral palsy. I believe in making lemonade out of lemons

Married with Special Needs Children

Marriage is hard. It is one of the hardest things I have done but it is also one of the greatest. We have the challenge of raising two beautiful children but each have their own set of special needs. Sawyer requires nightly meds, a constant watchful eye and g-tube feeds. Those are the minimum. If it’s too hot he doesn’t like to be outside so we end up one inside and one outside with his sister. If it’s too hot we can’t go on a family walk. There are times he isn’t feeling well so one person has been up most of the night.

It’s incredibly hard to find time to ourselves, left alone together. We try to get out for a date night every few months but during the pandemic, forget it. It’s incredibly hard to find someone who can watch Sawyer. His seizures aren’t easy to detect (unless you know him well) and they require a quick response with rescue meds a 911 call and an ambulance ride.

We have learned to adapt. We have hired an evening nurse for a few nights a week and we try to find a sitter for his twin sister so we can get out and at least have dinner. It’s been helpful to get some time to ourselves. When you become parents you lose a little piece of who you were as a couple. You forget how to flirt, how to be a couple without kids.

My challenge to you this month is to carve out once a week where you watch a show together, play a game, go on a walk, or cook dinner together. Talk about things OTHER than the kids.

Marriage is hard but it’s work and i'ts work that is worth it. As a couple you can be a stronger unit when you have a stronger bond. Focus on each other at least a few times a month. Put the phones down and spend quality time. You won’t regret it.

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